When a consumer has been unable to make payments to a creditor due to financial struggles, the creditor may use a debt collector to obtain money. Unfortunately, a debt collector may use harassment and other unethical tactics as a way to pressure a consumer into paying. Here, we have talked further about debt collection harassment, and what you can do to make it stop:
When and through what ways can a debt collector contact me?
A debt collector may be able to contact you between the hours of 8:00am and 9:00pm, through email, phone calls, and letters. There are a set of regulations that a debt collector must abide by when contacting you about outstanding debts. A debt collector is not permitted to contact you outside these hours listed, and cannot contact your workplace if your employer does not allow it.
Can a debt collector call my family members about my debts?
In general, a debt collector cannot discuss your debts with any other person but you and your spouse. A debt collector may be legally able to find out your home phone number and address in order to reach you. A debt collector that is sharing personal financial information with anyone else besides you and your spouse may be breaking the law and violating your rights to privacy.
What if I am not sure whether I owe the debt?
You can submit a validation request to the collection agency about the debt they claim you owe. If the agency refuses to provide proof of the debt, a consumer may want to respond with suspicion, halt payment, and get legal assistance right away.
What types of actions is a debt collector not allowed to do?
A debt collector may use a variety of shady tactics to get a consumer to make a payment. Despite regulations that protect consumers from certain kinds of treatment from a debt collector, such an agency may disregard these rules and violate a consumer’s rights. A debt collector may assume that a consumer does not have the awareness, resources, or time to invest in filing a lawsuit. Here are examples of actions that a debt collector is not permitted to do by law:
- Threaten the consumer with harm, legal action, or an arrest for not making payments
- Using obscene, profane, and aggressive language when contacting the consumer
- Making multiple calls per day regarding a debt owed as a way to pester the consumer and be intentionally disruptive
- Being misleading about how much money the consumer owes
- Lying about being a government representative or attorney
- Attempting to collect fees, interest, and other charges on top of the debts you owe
- Threatening to illegally relinquish your property for not making payments
Should I meet with an attorney if I think a debt collector is harassing me?
Any consumer who believes they are being mistreated by a debt collection agency because of an overdue payment may want to get legal advice promptly. A debt collector is unlikely to give up or halt the harassment until faced with legal action.